Monday, December 24, 2012
Just stopping in to wish all those who celebrate a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Thank goodness for my iPhone these last few weeks, because those are where most of my photos have been taken. Here's a sampling of some of my favorites...I must confess I've become completely addicted to all of my camera apps. My "real" camera is starting to collect some dust from non-use.
Sending good thoughts to all of my blog friends who make me smile and inspire me all year long. Happy holidays! xoxo
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The trick is to be grateful when your mood is high and graceful when it is low. ~Richard Carlson
It's been a week of battling my emotions, of dealing with this conflicting sense of both deep sadness and wanting to enjoy the holiday season. I see the seasonal lights, the Santas at the shopping malls, the houses decorated so festively, and those moments take me back to the joyful memories of Christmas that are tucked away in my mind. But then the tragedy in Connecticut flashes before me and my gut wrenches for all those families who are in the depths of despair. It's definitely made me stop more often to feel grateful for all that I have. More than ever before, I don't care about the presents or the holiday food; I simply want to be with my family, to see their smiling faces and feel blessed that they're here and with me.
Christmas is only six days away and I'm getting very busy; I may or may not post again before the holidays. If not, I'm wishing you a peaceful holiday season surrounded with love, gratefulness, and grace. Best wishes from my house to yours!
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Trying to make sense of something nonsensical and horrific...that is the state of my numbed mind and spirit today. I was all set to post some festive, holiday photos but my heart just isn't up to it...I'll do that in a few days. Life goes on, but it's hard to go through today as if nothing has happened. I feel like this photo: stark, exposed, gray, blue...my heart and prayers are with all those in Connecticut. I don't have the proper words to express the sorrow and sympathy I feel for them. I'm sending them love and strength.
Tears are melted words
From our hearts
Till they dissolve
In a liquid flow
Pure emotions leaking
Through the cracks
Of our fragile souls
Circular and stinging
Bittersweet and clinging
Then silently letting go.
© Sherri Brannon
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousands truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away. ~Henry Ward Beecher
It's so easy in our world to get tunnel vision amidst all the demands and stressors we have...to stop noticing the simple beauty that surrounds us each day because we're busy checking off things on our to do list. That's especially true during the month of December when gift shopping, baking, and decorating are added to our already overloaded routines.
A few mornings ago I woke up and heard a sound outside that caught my attention. It was a strange murmuring sound that I don't normally hear. I peeked through the blinds of my window and there it was: an enormous flock of birds had landed in the trees of our yard. There were thousands of them, and the noise was the collective sound of their cooing on the tree limbs. Needless to say, I sprinted for my camera and then hastily tiptoed out onto our back deck so I wouldn't disturb them. I got a few shots in before they suddenly made a mass exodus, in unison, as if being directed by one feathered leader to take flight. The sounds that their wings made while taking flight, as one, was even more magnificent than their cooing...oh, how I wish I had caught it on video! My images don't really do them justice - the breadth of their presence was so much more than what I caught with my camera lens. They actually covered the trees in our front yard, too - my husband was watching from the front door!
Within a few seconds, there was complete silence and it was as if they had never been there. The trees stood still amidst the gray skies. All that was left was a smile on my face and a moment of awe that I had witnessed this event. It was one of those moments that brings you right to the present...every sense magnified, your feet firmly planted on the ground as if you and the earth are deeply connected. I wish I could remember to feel this sense of "now" every moment of my day. There's such clarity and gratefulness in it. Have you ever witnessed a wonder like this, a "truth" from nature that makes you gasp at the sight of it? That makes all your stress fall away, if only for a few moments? It's a wonderful thing.
Friday, December 7, 2012
I'm linking up today with the Reflections of You blog and their weekly prompt "5 on Friday". The one good thing that comes of getting older is self-acceptance. After half a century on this planet, here are five conclusions I've come to:
1. I accept my quirkiness and am even happy with those things that set me apart.
2. I embrace my solitary, contemplative self and the fact that I'm completely content to find joy inside my words and colors.
3. I like my brain that constantly seeks poetic meanings in nature and every day moments.
4. I love that I see my everyday world with an artist's eye. My creativity is what fuels me on a daily basis, even if my feelings of inadequacy sometimes step in and stop me from acting on it. That's a work in progress...we never stop battling our insecurities.
5. My introversion is as much a part of me as my eye color, and I've discovered that this trait presents itself as firmly in the blog world as it does in real life. Attempting to run this blog in an extroverted way doesn't work and leaves me anxious and uncomfortable...I've realized how inauthentic it is and have happily come full circle to what I am: a quiet, unassuming blog introvert with a small circle of blog friends who are dear to me. What a relief it is to have this revelation, to sit with it and know that it's who I am and how I should conduct myself.
WINGED, SPUN, AND STUNG
I am jotting down little things
Winged, spun, and stung
Nestled things jarred free
Like a blown down sparrow's nest
I am the early owl, the naive fox,
The solemn flock of robins, the
Blackbird jauntily whistling
I am a light in the eye, like
The soul's firefly, flickering
In the dark of dusk's woods
I am a vibrant, fluttering
Kite against gray skies and
A kohl-smudged horizon
I am the rosy tint of sunrise
Highlighting the waking trees
Till they're italicized
I am memories scampering
Like a spooked and dappled fawn
Hiding in the blazing maples
I am the clouds that collide
Into majestic, steel mountains
Wearing their weight like armor
I am these words that come to me
And my heart rests in the glow of them
Like stars gazing into the lake
At their reflection.
© Sherri Brannon
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The winter sun having ripened trembles at the treetop. ~Chimako Tada
Winter sun is beautiful against the trees, whether it's sunrise or sunset. It provides a breathtaking backdrop against the bare branches. The colors are always magnificent, and depend on the sun's mood each day: daydreamy lavenders, cheerful corals, pensive ambers. These are some images I've captured this past week, and in one of them the moon even gave me a wink in the early morning hours.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
"The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won’t find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight". ~Tove Jansson, Moominvalley in November
I must prepare...fall is barely hanging on, and winter is looming. How do you prepare yourself mentally for the cold days of December through March? I always need to brace myself, to surround myself with creative things that occupy me and keep my winter melancholy in control. Exercise is key, and laughter! Thank God for my sense of humor...funny, lighthearted things always boost my spirits.
TEA FOR TWO
Oh Lord, have mercy on me
That wicked melancholy
I fear she fancies me
Every fall she shows up
On my doorstep
Inviting herself to tea
Drawing my curtains
So no one else can see
Removing her white gloves
With practiced delicacy
Her shrewd, ruby lipstick
Staining my tea cups
With no apology.
© Sherri Brannon